Relief Announced for 2020 and 2021 Disasters

Relief Announced for 2020 and 2021 Disasters

USDA will Provide Approximately $6 Billion to Impacted Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments. These funds will total approximately $6 billion, and will be distributed through the Farm Service Agency (FSA)’s new Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset crop yield and value losses. Producers will work with the FSA to receive benefits.

The ERP is a two-phase program. The first phase covers losses to crops, trees, bushes, and vines due to a qualifying natural disaster event in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which crop insurance or NAP coverage was available, except crops intended for grazing. Qualifying natural disaster events include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture, qualifying drought, and related conditions.

The second phase of both the ERP and the recent Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) will fill gaps and cover producers who did not participate in or receive payments through the existing programs that are being leveraged for phase one implementation. When phase one payment processing is complete, the remaining funds will be used to cover gaps identified during phase two.

Note that losses due to drought are only eligible for the ERP if they occurred within a county rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a D2 (severe) drought for eight consecutive weeks, or a D3 (extreme) or higher-itensity drought.

How to Participate

To streamline and simplify the delivery of ERP phase one benefits, the FSA will send pre-filled application forms to producers where crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) data is already on file. This form includes eligibility requirements, outlines the application process, and provides ERP payment calculations.

Producers will receive a separate application form for each program year in which an eligible loss occurred. Receipt of a pre-filled application is not confirmation that a producer is eligible to receive an ERP phase one payment. Additional requirements exist; click here for details.

Payment calculations will use an ERP factor based on the producer’s level of crop insurance or NAP coverage.

Where to Find Additional ERP Information

Click here to view the ERP handbook.

Click here to view the latest ERP resources.

Click here to view the USDA news release regarding the ERP.

For additional information and assistance regarding the ERP, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center.

For assistance with a crop insurance claim as it relates to ERP, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.